Coronavirus Pandemic

India: Misguided Covid-19 advice triggers fungal disease

Web report/Mumbai
Filed on May 20, 2021

Several Covid patients known to experiment with drugs suggested by friends or strangers on social media.

Unregulated use of drugs at home, absence of blood sugar surveillance and widespread use of ‘medicines’, which are ‘prescribed’ on social media by friends and relatives are the main factors for the surge in mucormycosis during the ongoing Covid pandemic in India, say doctors.

Medical experts cite how several Covid patients ‘experimented’ with drugs that were suggested to them by friends or even strangers on social media, which ultimately triggers off the fungal disease, normally acquired by patients in hospitals.

Dr Jay Deshmukh, director, Sunflower Hospital, Nagpur, told a newspaper that no two schedules of treatment could be the same even if the symptoms were similar. “Such generalised way of taking medicines should be discouraged,” he said.

Another doctor said that diabetic and other immunosuppressed patients are prone to fungal infections such as mucormycosis. “Many Covid patients started taking medicines through self-treatment at home with no monitoring or control of sugar,” pointed out Dr Mohan Nerkar, director, Seven Star hospital. “Some were also being advised by unqualified doctors and medicines given without checking parameters, which is harmful.”

Worse, there were patients who used oxygen cylinders at home with tap water in the flow meters, which could have led to fungal infections such as mucormycosis, he added.

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